04 SES 06 B, New Approaches To Investigating Teachers' Attitudes And Beliefs Concerning Inclusive Education
The concept of integration applied to migrants has evolved in recent decades from a concept perceived as chaotic (Robinson, 1998) to a set of elements incorporated into its definition from different perspectives (European Commission, 2019; Ager & Strang, 2008). According to Urteaga (2010), Europe has gone through various models that have in common the integration of foreign immigrants as citizens through work. Initially, integration models placed fewer restrictions on the granting of rights to immigrants, but today there has been a move towards more restrictive integration models.
In order to clarify this notion Ager and Strang (2008) have proposed 10 core domains from the analysis of various integration definitions: a)achievement and access across the sectors of employment, housing, education and health, b) assumptions and practice regarding citizenship and rights, c) processes of social connection within and between groups in the community, d) and barriers to such connection, particularly stemming from lack of linguistic and cultural competences and from fear and instability (Ager and Strang, 2008).
According to various authors (Hamilton, 2013; European Commission, 2019; Sinkkonen & Kyttälä, 2014; Trasberg & Kond, 2017; Nilsson & Axelsson, 2013), three types of challenges are usually faced during an integration process: 1) those related to the migration process, 2) those related to the general socio-economic and political context and 3) those related to student participation in education.
In the field of education, there is a certain consensus that “a student who is well-integrated into the education system both academically and socially has more chance of reaching their potential” (European Commission, 2019, p. 9). The school is considered a very relevant place for the integration of migrants and their families, for them “schools are experienced as the most important place of contact with members of local host communities, playing an important role in establishing relationships supportive of integration” (Ager and Strang, 2008, p. 172). A recent study carried out in Sweden states that, in the context of the integration of migrants in compulsory education, there is an emphasis on individual effort, academic achievement and students with psychological assistance and support needs are seen as obstacles to integration (Lundberg, 2020).
Bringing this theoretical debate into the situation of emigrants in Spain, Cachón-Rodríguez (2008) states that integration is a highly complex concept marked by dichotomies and interrelations on issues such as: the individual/collective, by the impact on structures/subjects, sometimes it is understood as a process/product, or its definitions considers the motives/intentions/projects of immigrants, the relationship between the host society and immigrants, among others. It also raises the question of "whether it is the integration of immigrants and/or integration with immigrants" (Cachón-Rodríguez, 2008, p.210).
According to Harman (2016) there are relevant differences between the constructs of inclusion and integration in the field of education. In some cases they are used interchangeably but ”integration models assume there is something wrong that must be fixed in order to fit into the present system” (Harman, 2016, p.1). On the other hand, “models of inclusion believe that all children are different [...] [and] the school system, as a whole, is enabled to change in order to meet the individual needs of all learners” (Harman, 2016,p.1) Pötzsch (2020) distinguishes “civic integrationism and critical social inclusion” (p.19). The critical social inclusion, according to Pötzsch (2020), “shifts the burden of responsibility for adaption from migrants to society by emphasizing the proactive role of public and private institutions [...]” (p.19).
Within this open, critical and complex framework, we ask about the meanings that a group of teachers and school headteachers are giving to the concept of integration and inclusion in some Spanish schools with migrant context.
This research is part of the project Migrant Children and Communities in a Transforming Europe (MiCREATE) funded by the EU Horizon 2020, running from 2019-2021 and with the participation of research groups from Austria, Denmark, Greece, Slovenia and Spain. The overall objective of the project is mapping the contributions and tensions of the educational systems to promote the social inclusion of children and young people coming from countries outside of the EU. One peculiarity of this is the adoption of a child-centred approach with the aim of stimulating the inclusion and integration of migrant children at an educational and policy level. Under this umbrella in this paper we present the process and some results coming from the work package 4 where a series of 15 fieldwork interviews to school representatives in 15 schools. In 6 of these schools, the study has been deepened through focus groups and more interviews with education professionals and observation of classrooms. In these 6 schools have also carried out deep interviews and focus groups with teachers of primary and secondary schools. The collected audio recordings have been transcribed into text, anonymized, themed and collaboratively coded by the research team. The analysis strategy has been aimed at looking for common issues and also the research team has been searching for specific issues for teachers. The following 5 thematic axes have been explored in detail: 1)How schools approach integration; 2) How migration affects schools; 3) Resources and mediators for the integration; 4) Obstacles, difficulties and weaknesses; and 5) Possibilities for doing it better. Because of its relevance, for understanding how schools respond to the educational diversity that young people bring to school we will focus our presentation on teachers’ views on the first of these issues.
Teachers that work with migrant students make similar interpretations of the terms integration and inclusion. Also for most participants in interviews and focus groups, the concept integration is mainly understood as inclusion (Micreate, 2019). They understand integration as a whole meaningful framework for applying not only for migrant children, but for newly arrived teachers and also for the families of these children. In their discourse, they mention that integration should cover the whole educational community and they should support initiatives and programs to receive and accompany these different collectives. According to our analisis, integration as inclusion tends to be developed from two main points of view (Micreate, 2019). One that could be called ‘assimilationist’ that has the purpose of to acquire and to build an identification with the local and European culture: “[...] and we have seen that what we have to do is to include everyone in a way that can be identified. If you do not identify yourself, it is very difficult to become part of this community.” (S1, E-TI). The other approach could be called ‘dialogic-intercultural’ and avoids the colonization of the other, seeks to integrate him/her without losing his/her roots, and seeks to include them with their own history, knowledge and cultural trajectory. For example, the school representative of S14 claims: “What we are clear about is that we do not want to colonize”. Another school representative comments: “because integration does not consist of losing my roots, but of continuing with yours, but we are also going to include ourselves in this” (S11R). Other conceptualisations and nuances introduced by teachers, less frequent but no less interesting, will also be discussed in the presentation. In this paper it will be proposed to discuss these findings and the consequences for teacher training and school organisation.
Ager, A., & Strang, A. (2008). Understanding Integration: A Conceptual Framework. Journal of Refugee Studies, 21(2), 166–191. https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fen016 European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice. (2019). Integrating students from migrant backgrounds into schools in Europe: National policies and measures. Eurydice report. Publications Office of the European Union. Cachón-Rodríguez, L. (2008). La integración de y con los inmigrantes en España. Debates teóricos, políticas y diversidad territorial. Política y Sociedad, 45(1), 205–235. Hamilton, P. L. (2013). It's not all about academic achievement: Supporting the social and emotional needs of migrant worker children. Pastoral Care in Education, 31(2), 173-190. https://doi.org/10.1080/02643944.2012.747555 Harman, B. (2016). Inclusion / Integration. Is There a Difference? https://bit.ly/3oj8zoL Lundberg, O. (2020). Defining and implementing social integration: A case study of school leaders’ and practitioners’ work with newly arrived im/migrant and refugee students. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 15(sup2). https://doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2020.1783859 Nilsson, J., & Axelsson, M. (2013). "Welcome to Sweden...": Newly arrived students' experiences of pedagogical and social provision in introductory and regular classes. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 6(1), 137-164. MiCreate. (2019). National Report. Educational Community and School Systems: Spain. Znanstveno-raziskovalno središče Koper. Pötzsch, T. (2020). Critical Social Inclusion as an alternative to integration discourses in Finnish and Canadian Integration Education Programs. Siirtolaisuus-Migration, 46(4), 18-21. Robinson, V. (1998, November). Defining and Measuring Successful Refugee Integration. Proceedings of ECRE International Conference on Integration of Refugees in Europe. ECRE. Sinkkonen, H. M., & Kyttälä, M. (2014). Experiences of Finnish teachers working with immigrant students. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 29(2), 167-183. https://doi.org/10.1080/08856257.2014.891719 Trasberg, K., & Kond, J. (2017). Teaching new immigrants in Estonian schools – Challenges for a support network. Acta Paedagogica Vilnensia, 38, 90-100. Urteaga, E. (2010). Los modelos de integración en Europa. Nómadas. Revista Crítica de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas, 26(2), 17-30.
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